Friday, June 16, 2006

Candidate #0000 - The END

Wow, I can't believe this will be my last entry in this blog. I feel like I have to say something really of those amazing "final thoughts" that will stay with you for the rest of your life.


Yeah, that's just not gonna happen.

So let me just say this:
I really enjoyed writing this blog. It helped being able to reflect on what was going on in my life...putting my thoughts out there...sharing the highs and the lows...and just putting into words what was going on in my head and my heart. I'm honestly going to miss this blog. :(

I'm not going to miss the job search though. Let me tell you, it's definitely been an emotional rollercoaster and I'm glad it's over!!!

Job searching... one of those "once-in-a-lifetime" experiences (just that you know you'll have to go through it again some day...but hopefully it won't be as bad because you'll have more experience and usually won't be as pressured to find a job)

...means that your self-confidence will take a beating. There's just no way around it. Keep your head up and remember: there's a light at the end of the tunnel (as cheesy as that sounds, but seriously, you'll make it through). And remember, you only need one offer - the right offer. not a competition, even though some people will try to make it one. Don't let them drag you into this comparing who has more interviews at conference, who had more on-campus interviews, etc. Job searching is one third luck, one third experience and qualifications and one third coincidence. Some people will find a job early; others won't. It doesn't mean that one of them is more qualified. It also doesn't mean that one of them will get the better job. It just means that one of them was in the right place at the right time. about finding A job, not necessarily the perfect job. Don't get stuck on what you think your dream job, dream location, dream institution is...this will be your first job. You'll have many more chances to get to that "ideal position and institution." Keep re-evaluating your priorities...and maybe you'll end up somewhere totally different and be much happier about it.

Last but not least, THANK YOU to everyone who has been reading this blog. Thank you for all the supportive comments. It has meant a lot more to me than you'll ever know. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Good luck to all of those out there, who are still going through the job search. You can do it! Believe in yourself!

Okay, this is really it...

Candidate #0000 signing off. ;)

Now Hiring?-Post 30

Post 30 from Now Hiring?

On my 24 inch Television: "Star Trek: The Next Generation"

It's a hot, sticky day out here in my land today. My major task was to go to work, dance and toss a kickball around with my colleagues' son, and finish up some last minute grading for my class (that ended over a month ago, for cryin' out loud). Other than that, I've been packing up my apartment. In fact, my girlfriend has been helping me in the sense that the constantly tells me "you have too much stuff" and "you don't know how to pack", yet neglecting the fact I'm an Air Force kid and I've had to pack up and move a time or two.

It felt a little weird to come into my office for the last time and clean off my desk. Part of me felt like I was getting fired and ordered to clean everything off. But, since I knew better, it felt kind of bittersweet to clean everything up and see my desk completely spotless. For the past two years, I sat there, fussed at students for the stupid things they did, laughed with my colleagues, did my fair share of homework there. There were a lot of good memories there at my desk, and though I know I must move on, there will be some hard feelings leaving an environment that was so comfortable and where I grew so much.

Well, since this the last blog entry, I want to share that it has been a joy and pleasure to do this weekly and share what was going on in my boring life. It was also great to hear feedback from others who were experiencing some of the same feelings and had many of the same questions I had. Finally, to all of you either still searching or got that "perfect" gig...keep your head up and remember to trust your gut. If we all do that, then we'll all be successful and our students will greatly benefit.

Now Hiring?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Now Hiring?-Post 29

Post 29 from Now Hiring?

On the Tube: "The First 48"

Well, I must tell you that I've had a question brewing in my mind for the past week or so. It had been keeping me awake at night and made me nervous. At times, my palms would sweat and I would pace around my apartment. I was a wreck; should I ask the question or just let it go? Should I not let it bother me or treat it as an important decision.

Last night, I decided to be a man and take a chance.

I popped the question.

Yeah, I did it. I was nervous, but it felt good to get it off my shoulders. So, the answer is...

Digital cable over standard cable.

You thought I was getting married or something? I had you going there for a minute, didn't I? Please, I'm focused on making my move next week, so I had been wondering whether to go with standard cable or splurge and get all 25 HBO channels. Since that momentous decision is done, maybe I'll ask my girlfriend to be my wife.

Other than that, I've bounced into my office a couple of times to say hello and clean off my desk. I've been asked questions about grading for my class, and I've given the standard "I ain't workin' here no more!" answer...only to actually try and resolve the situation (I guess my standard answer needs more work).

Okay, I've got to keep packing. I've got so much crap to box's gonna take me a while.

(Many thanks to my main man Johnathan Sprinkles and his "5 Minute Motivator" for the inspiration for this entry).

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Candidate #0000 - Post 34

33 days until I start my new job

The things you find when you start cleaning/packing…

I came across one of my old diaries. I only wrote in it during my last month as an undergraduate and then there is this one random entry from last summer. Wow, that brought back memories.

The entry from last summer is probably the funniest one. I wrote it the day after the sixth Harry Potter book came out. I had just finished the book and was totally freaking out about what would happen to Harry in Book 7. So the entire entry is one crazy theory after the other interrupted by little rants on how it is summer and I should be working less and hanging out with friends more.

This summer isn’t shaping up to be much different. I’m rereading Harry Potter 6. I’m still working too much. But I am finding a little more time to hang out with friends though…partially because I’m starting to panic about saying goodbye to everyone and am constantly questioning whether or not I will be able to stay in touch with people after I leave here.

You’d think that someone like me – who spent every vacation traveling, was an exchange student in high school and moved to another continent for college – would be used to moving and saying goodbye to people. But I’m not. And I feel like, with every move it becomes harder. The truth is, I’m scared. I’m scared of leaving my friends and losing touch with them. I was lucky that my three best friends from high school in Austria have been absolutely amazing about staying in touch. I may only see them every other year, but we e-mail back and forth and whenever I see them, it feels like we’ve never been apart. They even came to visit me in the US last summer. After high school, my luck must have run out though. Even though I only moved two and a half hours away from my undergraduate after graduation, I rarely talk to any of my friends from there. And not a single one has come to visit me. Granted, two of my friends were in the Peace Corps in Africa…and of course it had to be the two that would have come to visit me. But everyone else…

Yeah, I am bitter and very very disappointed. And I can’t help but wonder if the same thing will happen again after grad school. I keep telling myself that it won’t. Because even though we’ll all be much further apart, we’re all in Student Affairs. We have a lot more in common than my undergrad friends and I do. And there’ll probably be reunions at national conferences. But I can’t stop worrying sometimes.

Candidate #0000 - Post 33

33 days until I start my new job

Last person I talked to on the phone:
One of my best friends from undergrad, who has just returned to the US after 2 1/2 years in the Peace Corps

Biggest accomplishment of the day:
Deleting lots of people I haven’t talked to in years from my AIM Buddy List.

My apartment is a total mess right now. You can’t even walk from the door to the bedroom without tripping over at least two or three stacks of paper that are spread out on the living room floor. I wanted to do one of my “dance workout” videos tonight, but there is no way I can find enough space to even stand in my living room with few of the TV…let’s not even talk about moving around. I guess I’ll just have to go running again tonight. That means I have to drive back to the center of campus though because it’s getting very late and it’s way too dark around my complex to go running at night.

But before I jump into my car, let me explain first why there’s such a mess in my living room: No, I haven’t suddenly turned into a total slob, although if you hear my mom or grandma talking about me you’d think I was one. No, but seriously, I’m actually attempting to organize all my class notes and various other documents, articles and handouts that I’ve collected over the past two years. But I get this organizing thing isn’t as easy as it sounds…it’s definitely getting worse before it’ll get better.

I can’t believe how many random notes and articles I’ve collected in just two years of graduate school. I have two huge binders filled material from classes, plus a third binder just for this year-long assessment class I had. And that’s not even including any of the materials from my two practicums and the graduate assistantship.

Most of my friends told me that they’ve thrown a lot of articles out because they figure they’ll be able to find them online if they ever need them again. But I just can’t do that. I always think, “What if….” Like maybe one day I’ll be in charge of RA training and then I’ll be happy if I have a couple old RA training schedules from various schools that I can base my training off. You just never know. The only thing I know is that I’ll regret this attitude once I start packing things into boxes.

Oh, I have another confession to make. I finally gave in to MySpace. I’ve been on Facebook for the past two years, but I always said that I wouldn’t get sucked into another one of these sites. Well, a couple of my friends who graduated before “Facebook” became the “thing to do” aren’t on it but are on MySpace and they’ve been bugging me for months to set up a profile. I guess, they finally won. But don’t worry, I’ll be extremely careful what I’ll put on there.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Candidate #0000 - Post 31

37 days until I start my new job

My AIM Away Message: “Five days ago I died. After that, things got really weird...”
– Liz Parker, Roswell

Sound in my apartment:
The guy from upstairs snoring. (Can you believe it? This guy snores so loud that I can hear him in my apartment! It’s been driving me insane. But the second I turn on music to tune out his snoring, he and his wife complain that I’m keeping them up. Grrrrrrrrr….)

My summer plans are finally starting to take shape. This weekend will be dedicated to some packing…particularly going through old classnotes and sorting through all the material I have received at work throughout the past two years.
Next weekend (June 16th) , I’m going to Maine to visit a friend…and just to go to Maine because I’ve never been there. Then, I’m hoping to visit another friend the following weekend (June 23rd) for one night, stop by another friend’s place on the way back and attend a party that evening. And then I may take a day off work to pick up one of my friends (she doesn’t have car) and bring her back here. We’ll hang out for a few days and on the weekend or the latest on July 4th, I’ll drive her back home. And the following weekend (July 7th) will be my last day at work and my last weekend here, so I’m sure I’ll be busy packing. And then on Tuesday, I’ll be handing in my keys and moving half-way across the country to a new job, a new life. :)

It’s crazy trying to make plans for this last month. There’s so much I still want to do, so many people I want to see before I leave. At graduation, it felt like I’d have an eternity before leaving for my new job…now it’s just 30 days and when you’re thinking about it in terms of weekends, there’s barely any time left.

Now Hiring?-Post 28

Post 28 from Now Hiring?

How I'm Feeling: My tummy hurts...
What's Blastin: Tom Browne "Funkin' for Jamaica"

Well, it's time for another blog entry. I haven't been feeling well for the past couple of days due to some stomach problems (for you and I, the gory details will definitely be spared). There have been some periods of excitement this past week, and long points of absolute bordeom. I'll highlight the exciting times for ya...

1. I actually stepped into my old office this week to chat and clean off my desk. I saw some friends that are working for our office's summer programs. Since I have worked with the same program for the past couple of years, I offered my assistance if they needed. Plus, one of my friends brought her 16 month old son, so he and I were dancing in the hallway as our secretary got a good laugh out of us. Fun times once again.

2. I got pictures of my nephew in an e-mail. He's already 10 pounds and only 9 weeks old. Pretty soon he'll be eating a rack of ribs, jamming to The Roots with his uncle and driving my old Chevy Blazer trying to pick up women at the local mall. While that may be a strecth, I'm looking forward to seeing the little turd whenever I can. Plus, my little niece called and wanted to say hello. I distinctly the last time I saw her, when she and I were eating banana popsicles while watching Dora the Explorer, and she and I would knock popscicles like they were glasses and say "cheers!". I miss those two with everything I got.

3. I got an apartment in my new town of residence. I had to survive a credit check (which I knew I passed; they did it on a computer and got my results with 5 seconds) and a background check. I knew I wouldn't have any trouble with my background check, because my only contact with law enforcement was when I dialed 911 and hung up...when I was 5. Once I got the phone call saying everything was cool, I was pretty relieved. It's a nice 1 bedroom apartment with a spacious living and dining room, but the bedroom is pretty small. Plus, it has covered parking with a free car wash bay, so I can keep my sparkling car shiny and relatively new-looking. Plus, there's shopping, entertainment, and restaurants (yep, there's a White Castle across the street) nearby. And, it's only a 10 minute drive away from campus. I'm glad that part of the move was taken care it's a matter of packing everything up here and moving it there.

Well, Dr. Phil is about to come on TV, so I must cut this short. I'll catch you later. Peace!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Candidate #0000 - Post 31

39 days until I start my new job

Quote of the Day:“It is our choices that show who we truly are far more than our abilities.”
– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter

It’s Wednesday, 10 a.m., and I should probably be at work. I have lots of stuff to do today. But for some reason, I’m having a slow start today and right now, I just feel like writing. ;)

I went to bed early last night – earlier than I have in months – with the intention of getting up early this morning to go running or do one of those exercise tapes before going to work. But when my alarm rang, I just turned it off and rolled over on the other side.

I haven’t been very successful at achieving my goals for the summer. I was doing really well in the beginning and then I just kind of fell off the wagon. Now, I’m back to exercising sporadically; while I have lots of new Student Affairs literature that I purchased, I haven’t read much of it yet; and I’m still addicted to caffeine. The only thing I’ve been doing well at is the leasure reading and I’ve once again made it through Harry Potter 1-5 and have just started the sixth book. Can the seventh book come out soon PLEASE? I can’t wait!!!

I called one of my friends yesterday. She was in the Peace Corps for the past two and a half years. We’ve been writing letters back and forth and the occassional e-mail when she’d get near a computer, but it’s been two and a half years since we talked to each other. It was very surreal talking to her again. Part of me felt like she’d never been gone and it was just yesterday that we were hanging out in the basement of her residence hall (we were both Resident Assistants) laughing and having fun. But then again, it felt like an eternity since the last time that we’d talked. I can’t really believe that she’s back…at least not until I actually see her.
My other friend, who was also in the Peace Corps, is supposed to be coming back this week and I’m not sure when and at what phone number I could reach her once she’s back, so I’m waiting anxiously for my phone to ring. As soon as she’s settled in a little, we’ll have to have a reunion or something.

These past few weeks have been strange. Some days, it’s just business-as-usual. I mean, I’m still working for ResLife here; the only thing that’s changed in my life is that I don’t have to run to classes after work and there’s no more late-night studying. But in that sense, it just feels like another summer, not THE summer before the rest of my life as a professional Student Affairs administrator.

One after the other the graduate students from my program are leaving. We just had another dinner last night to say goodbye to one of them, who’s moving tomorrow. It’s so surreal (I think “surreal” is the word of the day). You stand there and you say goodbye and your brain is telling you that you probably won’t see this person in years, but your heart isn’t able to comprehend that and you shrug it off and think, “I’m sure we’ll see each other soon.” SURREAL!

Okay, I really need to get to work now. Talk to you later!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Now Hiring?-Post 27

Post 27 from Now Hiring?

The Tunes on iTunes: The Isley Brothers "Just Came Here to Chill"

Another late night watching the 10:00 news, another blog entry. Sorry to make this seem boring, but it's a quiet night around here. I just watched "Rescue Me" on FX and my girlfriend is studying for a test she has in a couple of days. My mind has been running around in circles about a couple of things, and since I don't want to drive myself crazy I'll share them with you:

1. Since I start working in a couple of weeks (June 30 to be exact), I'm starting to worry whether I can handle the task of working full-time at my new school. I remember all the lectures I got about being a "new professional" and always saying "hell, I put man on the moon...I can handle this". But now, putting man on the moon sounds a whole lot easier. I was extremely confident about being the best professional when I interviewed there (duh wanted the gig, so you had to show you were professional), and I felt really confident until a couple of weeks ago. I guess reality is setting in, and in a couple of weeks I'll be working for real, making real money, and making important decisions.

2. Even though my contract at my assistantship ended, my students are still getting on my mind. For the class I teach, I required 4 out of 7 e-mail reaction opportunities to be turned in by the end of the course to recieve a passing grade. A vast majority of my students completed their work on time, but a few didn't. And those few decided (not asked, but decided themselves) to turn in the work a few weeks after grades were due and declared they passed. Well, one tried to tell me that someone in my office told her to turn in the work and she'd be fine...but the only secretary in the office didn't even talk to her (since she has first contact with everybody). So, this vacation I've been in meetings to try to resolve the grading situation and communicate to the students that since they didn't do the work, they don't deserve the passing grade. It reminded me that they're trying to learn even when they try to get slick with me.

Okay, Robot Chicken is coming on...I'll catch you later.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Now Hiring?-Post 26

Post 26 from Now Hiring?

On the tube: "Honey We're Killing the Kids!"

Let me tell you that I am extremely tired from this weekend's journeys. I've been out on business and experienced some pleasure from my travels. But, I'm hungry and got some Dunkin' Donuts coffee waiting for me, so I'll make this quick (and possibly very student affairs related). Plus, I've got to get on the road again to visit my baby niece.

SATURDAY (in the park...I think it was the 4th of July!): I went to my new city to apartment hunt. I found a couple of places that looked pretty nice (in my thinking, if it doesn't have roaches, then it's fine). The first place I looked at was relatively nice, and had a nice view of a large park adjacent to the complex. I went to the second place, and it was fantastic. It had a large bay window in the living room, a nice sized dining room, and an underground parking lot with free! car wash bay. But, I had to put a lot of money down to get it, and I'm not sure if it's the joint I want to lay my head down in. And, it's only a 10 minute commute from work. I went to a third place...and that was an adventure. It featured two guys trying to get a referral prize of $250 for a friend (that didn't live in the apartment complex), an angry woman wanting to get a guy out of the pool because he was splashing everyone, 5 questions about fishing permits, and the cops. Yeah, I don't know if I'll live there.

SUNDAY: I started some planning and saving money for the 2007 Joint Meeting in Orlando (I've got family close there, so I'm super excited). Then my girlfriend and I went to visit my grandmother who returned from the hospital. She had some surgery to correct some problems and had a bunch of tests ran on her, but she's feeling much better. Being the great grandson I am, I even made her dinner and did some laundry (you may commence the "awwws" and "that's so sweet" now). It was good to see her and do a good deed.

Well, the coffee's made and my niece is probably wondering where her uncle is. I'll catch you later. Peace!